I REALLY suck at mornings. Like I suck so bad, that often when my alarm goes off at 06:00 I want to scream, shout, or cry, and sometimes all three at once. Unfortunately my job requires me to get up at that time (not at all helped by the face that it’s still pitch black), so I’ve had to make some serious changes to cope with getting up early without having a meltdown. If I can get myself an extra five or ten minutes in bed, I WILL. Here’s what’s helped with my morning routine…
The Night Before
I’ve found the key to getting up early is doing as much as I possibly can the night before. I get home just after 9pm, so once I’ve had something to eat I have just enough time to prepare for the morning before I flop into bed and fall asleep in front of Netflix (Pretty Little Liars for the second time round, in case you were wondering). Ideally, there’ll be enough dinner that I can take the leftovers for my lunch the next day. If not, I prepare my food for the day and stick it in the fridge ready to just grab it and go, as well as finding something for breakfast and putting it aside. Before I leave for work I can’t even think about food, so I always take something with me to have at work, or a protein shake for the journey to work. I’ve always been the kind of person who just HAS to shower in the morning to feel ready for the day ahead, but these early mornings have definitely changed me! These days, I have a shower just before bed, put some leave-in conditioner in my hair, and then plait it so that I don’t have to worry about styling it in the morning. I get my work outfit ready, to the extreme – I’d rather hunt around for a pair of pants or matching socks the night before than do it in my bleary-eyed, tired state in the morning.
A Little Help from Holland & Barrett
Sometimes we can make every effort to relax and unwind before bed in order to drift peacefully off to sleep, but despite this there are still times when we can find it a little more difficult to get off to sleep; thanks to the increasingly stressful lives we seem to be living and the different roles and responsibilities we have to juggle, sometimes we have so much on our minds that sleep becomes a struggle.
National Sleep Awareness Week kicks off on the 6th of March (and apparently March is national bed month – who knew?!) and to help me on my way to better quality sleep, Holland & Barrett sent me a bag full of super sleep-promoting aids.
Relax and Unwind with Lavender
Lavender is commonly used to calm an active mind, and can also help to reduce nervous feelings. I’ve used one sleep spray or another for as long as I can remember, but this Miaroma Coconut & Lavender Sleep Mist (£7 / 100ml) really is delightful, and thankfully much cheaper than others I’ve used. I spray this mist a couple of times onto my pillow and bed linen before snuggling up into bed, and the scent helps to soothe and relax me, leaving me a little bit more at ease. The Miaroma Relaxing Lavender Temple Balm (£8 / 15ml) is another great lavender product – a little dab of the balm onto your temples is enough to help your weary head to settle, and I find that the scent doesn’t wear off as quickly as the mist. I have a feeling this will come in very handy for my long-haul flight next month, as the balm won’t be too obvious to anyone around me yet will still help me to relax.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin B6 is a common deficiency and this can unfortunately lead to sleep problems; logic would therefore suggest that if you top up your B6 levels, your sleep will improve. Holland & Barrett offer 100 Timed Release B-Complex and Vitamin C Capsules for £4.49, and at one capsule taken daily these will last you for over three months. I’d say that’s a pretty good bargain for better sleep! I now take these alongside my other daily vitamins and minerals, and although I have been sleeping much better lately, I’m not sure that I’d ever be able to say with certainty whether it’s due to the increased B6 levels or changes in my lifestyle.
Magnesium is said to contribute to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue, as well as having other benefits in the form of maintaining normal bones and teeth, muscle function, and electrolyte balance. A great all-rounder, the potential for reducing fatigue is a selling point for me. One tablet of Holland & Barrett’s Magnesium 250mg Capsules is enough to do the job.
I was very intrigued by the Rhodiola Stress Relief Tablets, mostly because when I took the tablets out of the box I was overwhelmed by the most revolting smell – I suppose that’s what you get from a natural, herbal remedy! Rhodiola is used for the temporary relief of symptoms that can contribute to stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion, and feelings of anxiety. I’ve taken these a few times over the past fortnight when life has felt a little overwhelming, but again it’s difficult to comment on the efficacy. These are much more expensive at £13.99 for 30 tablets, but at troubling times they may be just the thing for short-term relief. Slightly cheaper at £9.99 for 30 tablets, Valerian is another herbal remedy which can help relieve symptoms of mild anxiety, with a tablet taken shortly before bed said to help ease you off to sleep.
Relax with a Hot Drink
I don’t drink tea or coffee as I just don’t like the stuff, so the only hot drink I have are organic squash or hot chocolate – a hot squash before bed can be quite relaxing! Holland & Barrett have come up with the ideal bedtime drink in the form of Creamy Chamomile Cocoa (£4.99 / 120g), which combines the soothing and calming properties of chamomile, with the delicious flavour of hot chocolate; granted this isn’t going to completely match up to a creamy, indulgent hot chocolate, but the flavour is pretty spot-on, and you can’t go wrong with a bit of chamomile before bed.
So those are my top tips for tackling early mornings, with a few supplements from Holland & Barrett. You can read a few more of my top tips for good sleep hygiene here. What are your top tips?
This post contains PR samples from Holland & Barrett